Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tommy Ramone

And so the last surviving original member of The Ramones has died:

Drummer Tommy Ramone, the last member of the original 1970s punk band the Ramones, died Friday of cancer, according to Variety. He was 62.

The Ridgewood, Queens, resident had been in hospice and suffering from bile duct cancer, the trade publication reported.

Ramone, born in Budapest, Hungary, was a drummer and producer who performed on the groundbreaking band’s first three albums, Variety said.

Those first three albums are far and away the best Ramones albums.

I would argue they're also three of the finest rock n' roll albums ever.

The Ramones had all these influences - Spector's girl groups, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, 60's surf music, Elvis, The Beatles, The Who, The Stones, Arthur Lee's Love and the Jefferson Airplane, great glam bands like T. Rex & Slade, The Stooges and VU - and they put them all into their 1:59 songs and made rock n' roll perfection.

Tommy Ramone co-produced all three of those albums and helped craft that perfect sound.

If you want to hear the work that Tommy did, get the Rhino Records remasters of the first three Ramones albums and listen to the demos on them as well as the live songs, then listen to the albums themselves.

He also produced the fourth Ramones album, Road to Ruin and the eighth, Too Tough To Die.

Each has their moments.

But the first three albums are really perfect and you should go and listen to all three, back-to-back.

RIP Tommy.


  1. Tommy was my dearest and oldest friend.
    We grew up together in Forest Hills Queens New York.
    I went to Stephen A Halsey Jr High and Forest Hills High school with him.
    He got me to pick up the bass guitar and enter into the crazy world of rock music.
    We played in several bands together (Triad & Butch) here in NYC over the late 60's and early 70's.
    We built and managed Performance Studios in NYC, a recording/rehearsal studio the Ramones started in. I worked with him when he was in the Ramones and well after he left.
    He had an advanced musical foresight, well ahead of the times in forming and being part of the Ramones. He was a great musician on the guitar, then the drums, later on the mandolin, banjo, fiddle and many more instruments. His musical expanse bridged from Punk to Indie Bluegrass.
    I mourn the passing of the last of the original Ramones, my friend and a true musical visionary.

    Monte A. Melnick

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I am saddened by Tommy's death. Hearing your story gives me perspective on just what a musical visionary he was.